Posts Tagged ‘feature’

How Brutal Doom’s Gore Works

“Saved my hide, it did. The alien’s broad back shielded me as its brethren flung their fiery mucus wads; the fireballs burst, spraying flaming, red liquid that dribbled down my dance partner’s legs to pool on the ground, lighting the room with a hellish, red glaze. I fired nine or ten times, finally blowing a hole clean through the alien … a gory loophole through which I turned on the rest.”

Knee Deep in the Dead, Dafydd Ab Hugh and Brad Linaweaver’s novelisation of Doom, is perhaps a little more theatrical than the Doom that played in my head during the summer of 1994. It features a sidekick and talking demons, and dramatised sequences in which protagonist Corporal Flynn Taggart finds ammo and bumps up against walls to find secrets. But it captures something of Doom’s intensely graphic nature. Doom was the first game I played that felt truly fluid and direct.

Playing Brutal Doom [official site] today feels like Doom always did, despite its custom levels and gouts of blood and gore, death animations and chugging live versions of Doom’s MUS originals. It overhauls pretty much every element of the original, and yet it’s the Doom that plays in my memory, amplifying the original’s gore and immediacy to suit a post-COD, Gears of War – heck, Soldier of Fortune – world. For me, the latest version, v20b, reaches a state of the sublime. But while the blood that drips from ceilings and screen-filling viscera are its obvious achievements, something far more prosaic lies at the root of how it works so well.

THE MECHANIC: Hitboxes.

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Wot I Think: Offworld Trading Company

Offworld Trading Company [official site], the new game from Civ IV lead designer Soren Johnson and his team at Mohawk Games, is a strategic simulation of a sci-fi Martian economy. It’s also one of the smartest strategy games I’ve ever played.

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A Living World: Mount & Blade II – Bannerlord Interview

Mount & Blade: Warband is one of my favourite games but I haven’t played it for a long time. In part, that’s because I’ve been waiting for the sequel, Bannerlord [official site], since it was announced four years ago. After over half a decade of development, details about the game have started to emerge and I spoke to Armagan Yavuz, CEO and Founder of developers TaleWorlds, to find out how the team are aiming to improve on the dynamic world of the original. We talked combat, historical influence, settlement management, co-operative possibilities, modding and AI.

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Wot I Think: Hitman Episode Two – Sapienza

This is more like it. This is so much more like it that it feels like the gap year abroad next to that disappointing overnight stop in Paris. In Sapienza, a colourful and complex Italian town, IO’s new Hitman [official site] has found the ideal location for a spot of sightseeing and silent slaughter. I’ve spent more than ten hours playing and feel like I’m still scratching the surface, and almost every hit has been a complete joy.

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Dark Souls III Boss Guide – Lore, Loot & Strategies

To many, Dark Souls III [official site] can be summarised as a boss stamping on a human face forever. We’re here to help. This is a guide to killing all of the bosses in Dark Souls 3 but it’s not simply a how-to-murder manual. It also takes a look at some of the sumptuous design and the patchwork lore surrounding many of the bosses, explaining who they are, what they leave behind when they perish, and why it’s necessary to steal all of their souls. As such it’s absolutely riddled with spoilers, as well as strategies and a sprinkling of silliness.

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Overland Is XCOM As Post-Disaster Roadtrip

Overland [official site] is a sorta-turn-based strategy meets sorta-roguelite, and comes from the folks behind the deathless Canabalt, progenitor of the endless runner as we know it. I shouldn’t draw too many comparisons, as that was a long time and several games ago for Adam and Rebekah Saltsman, but it does share a strong sense of style, a refreshingly exposition-free approach to the end of the world and a constant sense of encroaching doom with Canabalt. I’ve been keeping half an eye on it for a while now, intrigued by how it seemed to pair XCOM tactics with a survival theme and creepy rocks-monsters, so I signed right up when its ‘first access’ build appeared on itch.io a few days back.

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